Brandon Chasse, MA, PhDc, HMI
Meet Brandon Chasse
Brandon Chasse, certified HeartMath™ practitioner, completed his Masters degree and is currently pursuing a PhD in Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Somatic Studies. Within this field, he explores the forces of the psyche and how they stimulate the body’s capacity to heal itself.
After finishing his Masters, Brandon decided to start his own practice as a personal coach combining the modalities of both Depth Psychology and the Institute of HeartMath™. He has been on a mission to integrate these fields so one can approach the multifaceted components of their mind and body with greater control and implement positive adjustments to their systems on a deeper level. His dissertation topic also involves the integration of Depth Psychology with HeartMath™ on a quantitative level to enhance its effects and efficiency. He has been educated in the art of dream analysis and dream work, as well as the workings of the unconscious. His studies follow in the traditions of CG Jung, James Hillman, Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, and Sigmund Freud.
He has been an athlete most of his life, having practiced karate for eight years, tai chi for two years, and wrestling for five years. He also partakes in yoga, meditation, nutrition plans, and fitness classes, as well as managing his own volleyball group. He firmly believes that by fine-tuning the body, one also sharpens the mind.
Services I Provide
HeartMath™ is a unique system that combines rigorous research, advanced technologies, and validated techniques in training individuals to reduce stress and enhance their lives using biofeedback software. By generating an optimal physiological and psychological state called coherence, one is improving their nervous-system harmony, emotional stability, and cognitive performance.
What Is Coherence?
In regards to HeartMath™ services, coherence refers to the harmony of the rhythmic activities of the body including heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. Our research indicates that when the body experiences positive emotional states, it functions in a coherent manner, providing an endless amount of physical, emotional, and mental benefits.
When we allow negative emotions like anxiety, depression, and frustration to dominate our lives, the pattern of our heart rate variability (HRV) becomes disordered, which directly effects our physical and psychological performances. When we monitor heart rhythms through our software, we can study the physiological and psychological status, as well as predicting future health risk, with the intention of reaching a coherent state. When a coherent system is learned, the heart sends more information to the brain, improving cognitive performance.
Using HRV analysis, we study the coherence through our software and determine where improvement is necessary. Coherence doesn’t mean that everybody or all the parts of the body are doing the same thing all the time. Think of a jazz band, for example, where the individual players are each doing their own thing, yet keeping in tune and step with the whole band. Coherence, in this sense, maximizes local freedom and global cohesion.
Unlike relaxation, the coherence state does not necessarily involve a lowering of heart rate or a change in the amount of HRV, but rather is primarily marked by a change in the heart-rhythm pattern. Relaxation is a low-energy state in which the individual rests both the body and mind, typically disengaging from cognitive and emotional processes. In contrast, coherence generally involves the active engagement of positive emotions. Psychologically, coherence is experienced as a calm, balanced, yet energized and responsive state that is conducive to everyday functioning and interaction, including the performance of tasks requiring mental acuity, focus, problem-solving and decision-making, as well as physical activity and coordination.
How can HeartMath™ help?
When you arrive at a HeartMath™ session at Optimal You, we’ll connect you with emWave and Inner Balance software and go through a series of relaxation and breathing techniques.
The HeartMath™ software clearly identifies your heart rhythm and coherence. Our goal is to help you reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, balance different systems in your body including the immune and hormones, and increase your longevity, happiness, energy, and clear thought process.
Emotions drive our physiological and psychological states, which is why it’s crucial to learn how to manage emotions in a beneficial and harmonious way. Heart Math will regulate your emotional process, monitoring your heart and coherence, then provide techniques and feedback based on the results from our innovative software to help you make positive changes in your life.
The following symptoms and conditions can be treated with HeartMath™:
- High Blood Pressure
- Headaches (tension type and migraines)
- Cardiovascular rehab
- Performance/Test Anxiety
- Chronic Pain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Environmental sensitivity
- Traumatic brain injury
- Phantom pain and amputation
- Atopic dermatitis
- Diabetes Type I and II
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis)
- Muscle spasticity
- Immune-system dysfunction
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Loss and Grief
- Eating Disorders
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (complex regional pain syndrome)
Energy psychology (EP) is a mind-body approach to understanding and improving human functioning. EP focuses on the relationship between bioenergy systems, neuro and electro physiological processes, and mental functions involving thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behavior.
EP applications incorporate natural energetic components into the treatment process that include, but are not limited to, meridians, chakras, biofields, and bio-electrical and electromagnetic activity of the body, the nervous system and the heart.
EP practitioners often combine cognitive and physical interventions with activation of one or more of the human bio-energy systems. Some practitioners focus on the way in which thought and intention are expressed in the bioenergy system, and explore the therapeutic value of precise use of language and congruent intention. EP approaches are often exceedingly rapid, have little to no adverse effects, are usually experienced as self-empowering by clients and patients, and are easily amenable to self-help protocols.
EP models have been beneficially applied to assessment and treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, pain, stress, psychophysiological issues, and self-sabotaging behaviors by a broad range of healthcare providers, to regulate affect and promote emotional and physical health.
“Treatment results have been shown to be enduring and relatively rapid. There are currently over 60 research studies, including multiple Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) published in professional and refereed journals, confirming the treatment value of EP. Taken as a body of knowledge, these findings suggest that EP meets the criteria for evidenced-based treatment.”(ACEP website)
Read more at www.energypsych.org
“Mindfulness” describes a mental state of nonjudgmental attention to and awareness of the present moment -- along with calm acknowledgment of feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations as they arise. Mindfulness can also describe a type of meditation practice which cultivates this awareness, a quality all human beings possess.
According to Mindful.org, “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
Mindfulness meditation comes from early Buddhist traditions over 2500 years old, developed to foster
- clear thinking
- open-heartedness, and
- the alleviation of suffering
Despite its Buddhist origins, mindfulness meditation requires no special religious or cultural belief system. In fact, Jon-Kabat-Zinn PhD is internationally known for bringing these practices to the West – creating a research-based program called “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” that has benefited people from all walks of life. This program has been a helpful ancillary form of treatment for many patients with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, anxiety, psoriasis, and other chronic conditions caused or exacerbated by modifiable lifestyle factors.
As one aim of mindfulness is to take greater responsibility for one’s life choices, it may both strengthen one’s internal resources for optimizing health, and evoke greater engagement with one’s health care too.
Ample research documents effectiveness of mindfulness practices in avoiding relapse in depression, addictions, and also in many forms of anxiety. Studies of its applications in trauma survivors are underway as well. Some forms of psychotherapy which use these practices include Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. It is not a panacea, though. Psychiatrists and therapists keep aware of potential pitfalls with certain types of people, conditions, and timing. For instance, actively psychotic patients may worsen with long periods of silence in an extended mindfulness retreat. Once symptoms remit though, the person may be well able to participate and benefit from such programs.
Mindfulness can be taught as part of formal meditation practice, and also as integrated into everyday life situations. It isn’t about changing what you think or feel – but about becoming gradually more aware of these things in a moment-to-moment way. Through mindfulness practice, you can develop a wiser and more compassionate relationship with your own mind and body. This pays dividends not only in how you feel personally, but also in the quality of your relationships with others.
All Optimal You professionals apply some form of mindfulness principles or practice in their work.